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Soma


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jaesjaesSkrevet 30/05-15 11:48, rettet 30/05-15 11:51 
Amnesia-udviklerne Frictional har annnonceret, at deres næste horror-spil kommer til PS4 og pc i september. Ser ganske interessant ud - sci-fi og jeg er klar!

"The radio has gone silent on PATHOS-2. As isolation bears down on the staff of the remote research facility, strange things are happening.

Machines are taking on human traits and alien constructions have started to interfere with routine. The world around them is turning into a nightmare.

The only way out is to do something unimaginable."

Gameplay:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syhcF0Mx0j0

Site:
http://somagame.com/index.html
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 30/05-15 12:05 
Det synes jeg også har set spændende ud længe. Godt det endelig har fået en udgivelsesdato.
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
BeanoBeanoSkrevet 26/08-15 12:07 
Mere gameplay fra PS4 versionen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EhLnJNoGO4
BeanoBeanoSkrevet 21/09-15 19:22 
Udkommer i morgen og lyder til at være ok...

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-09-21-soma-review
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 25/09-15 16:52, rettet 25/09-15 17:05 
Hvorfor spiller du horror spil? Jeg synes det er et vigtigt spørgsmål, når man skal diskutere Somas kvaliteter. For det meste handler genren om intense monster møder, begrænsede ressourcer og jump scares, og hvis det er, hvad man leder efter i et horror spil, bør man gå en bred bue uden om Soma. Ikke fordi det ikke indeholder den slags elementer, det er bare den absolut svageste del af spillet og fokuserer man på det, kan man hurtigt gå fra det med et dårligt indtryk. I stedet er spillets styrke og den egentlige horror, den ekstremt trykkende situation man befinder sig i og de temaer der behandles. Man vågner efter en kort spilbar intro op i en underhavs facilitet uden at ane, hvordan man er kommet der. Ret hurtigt render man ind i robotter, der tror de er mennesker og andre som jager en, hvorfra plottet udvikler sig. Er et spil af den type, hvor det er bedst at gå til det med så lidt information som muligt, så vil ikke gå yderligere i detaljer med det her.

Original er den måske ikke, men den velvalgte lokation på bunden af havet skaber både utryghed, samt fascination og spillet kører i pacing i lige dele på begge. Der er små betagende ting som at stirre ud gennem facilitetens glasruder på alger og fisk, og større oplevelser som når man er tvunget udenfor metalvæggene ned på havbunden. SPOILER-TEKST:
Lad mig i den forbindelse rose den nedstigen i dybet man kommer ud for nær spillets slutning. Den sårbarhed der op til det punkt altid har været fremkaldt af settingen, blotlægges fuldstændigt. Det er som at være alene på en fremmed planet. Man hører ikke til der og det truer med at opsluge en fuldstændigt (Bioluminescens burde i øvrigt være på en eller anden top ti liste, over de fedeste ting nogen sinde). En stærk mindeværdig oplevelse.

Rent mekanisk er der gjort virkelig meget ud af interfacet eller mangel på samme. Frictional har tydeligvis haft en mission statement om at visualisere så meget som muligt for spilleren, frem for at skabe et abstraktionslag i form af HUD, inventory, tutorials og skrevne indikatorer og det er for det meste vellykket. Der er dog enkelte fingre at sætte på det, noget af det mere en smagssag, end deciderede objektive fejl. Bortset fra enkelte ting som fx et begrænset inventory og interaktions pop-ups, kommunikeres der visuelt. Det betyder at, når man fx bliver såret, bliver ens synsfelt mere sløret og der skrues op for effekter som chromatic aberration, mens man samtidigt dingler fra side til side, når man går. Kommunikationen virker efter hensigten i den forstand, at man forstår, man er såret. Det har så bare bare den bivirking, at det kan være irriterende at se på, hvis man har langt til det næste sted, man kan blive healet. På puzzle siden kan den ordløse kommunikation også lede til progressions-stop, de steder hvor det ikke er helt tydelig, hvordan man kommer videre. Vi er ikke på old school adventure niveau, men det kan være frustrerende i det små, også alt i mens man samtidigt beundrer designet, for de mange steder det fungerer fejlfrit.

Af tematiske årsager er hele affæren også en meget taktil oplevelse. Man kan manipulere og løfte rundt på de fleste genstande. Joypaddet/musen skal bevæges eller roteres for at åbne skabe eller dreje på ventiler. Jeg forstår, hvorfor de gør det, men også omvendt, hvorfor det vil frustrere nogen, når skabet nu ikke vil åbne sig og man bare kunne have lavet det på en knap. Lige i kølvandet på det taktile er det fabelagtige lyddesign. Alt klinger og klanger omkring en og man kan høre metalbasen give sig under trykket osv. Det er good stuff.

Nu vi er ved mekanikken, er det nok svært at komme uden om monster møderne. Der er ikke mange af dem og de forsøges konstant varieret, gennem den måde deres sanser opererer: SPOILER-TEKST:
Nogen må man ikke se på, andre reagerer på lyd eller skræmmes af lys osv.
I de fleste tilfælde noget man har set før, ikke mindst i Frictional Games egne ældre spil og jeg oplevede dem flere gange, som noget der bare skulle overståes, så man kan komme videre til det væsentlige. Møderne med dem og selve horror delen undermineres også af health systemet, hvor man ikke umiddelbart trues, men altid kan klare at blive ramt en gang. Da sektionerne med monstre ofte er korte, resulterer det flere gange i, at man bare kan fare i gennem et område, blive ramt en gang, hvorefter man starter samme sted, mens monsteret teleportes et andet sted hen og man hastigt forsætter ud af området.

Rent teknisk var PC udgaven de sædvanlige 60fps, dog med en del stutter i nogle sekunder, når spillet loader. Jeg kan se det lige har fået en patch for det, men det var i forvejen et meget lille problem. Gamma niveauet er også skruet for højt op efter min mening, men det kan der stilles på.

Soma er det bedste horror spil, jeg har spillet. Ikke af de årsager man typisk spiller genren for og som jeg sagtens kan sætte pris på, men for oplevelsen og teamerne. Det sidste har jeg med vilje undgået, for det afslører en del omkring plottet, men blandt de mere interessante er SPOILER-TEKST:
klassikere som i hvilken grad den individuelle bevisthed er bundet til den fysiske krop, hvad er liv ud over celledeling, moral og etik ifb med mekanisk (ikke nødvendigvis kunstig) intelligens, og værdien af et liv frigjort fra den menneskelige krop (enkelte steder har man faktisk muligheden for at yde dødshjælp, og ligegyldigt hvad man vælger, forsvinder hverken tankerne eller følelsen af ubehag konfronteret med rationelt (selv)mord).
Velkendte temaer i sci-fi litteraturen, men det præsenteres så overbevisende, at det stadig trænger i gennem. Hvis man fornemmer, at det er noget man kan sætte pris på, bør man absolut give Soma en chance.
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 29/09-15 12:19, rettet 29/09-15 12:19 
Der er en hemmelig password låst fil i PC udgaven. Hvad den indeholder og hvor man kan finde kodeordet afsløres her: SPOILER-TEKST:
Samtidigt er den live action prequel serie Frictional snakkede om før udgivelse begyndt, men den spoiler vist også en lille smule, så måske man bør vente til efter spillet er gennemført med at se den:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-09-28...on-prequel-webisodes
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
PapandPapandSkrevet 29/09-15 20:00 
Efter din beskrivelse af spillet røg det straks på min Steam ønskeliste. Snupper den ved førstkommende rabat. :)
Spiller nu: Mass Effect 2, Star Wars: The Old Repu..., League Of Legends
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 29/09-15 20:44, rettet 29/09-15 20:48 
Cool. Nogen spil bliver ved en et stykke tid efter man har gennemført dem. The Last of Us var et af dem jeg havde svært ved at slippe i tankerne, selv om jeg bevægede mig videre til andre spil og Soma er et andet af slagsen. Den slags oplevelser er altid værd at investere sig i, uagtet hvad fejl man så ellers kan finde på det mekaniske plan.
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 01/10-15 15:27, rettet 01/10-15 15:34 
Frictional skriver lidt om salgstal, modtagelse, forventninger og pirateri mm. på deres Facebook side. Jeg synes ikke selv, at der er spil påvirkende spoilers, men det kan potentielt anskues sådan af nogle. Derfor lille SPOILER advarsel:

SOMA has now been out in the wild for 10 day so it felt fitting to write a summary of how things have gone so far. But first a little trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9z0Yz-cP73U

- Sales
I'm going to start with what I think most people are interested in: how much has the game sold? The current number now is at about 92,000 copies across all platforms (due to legal reasons we can't give a per-platform breakdown). This is quite good for 10 days (+ preorder time) of sales! The money that we've got from this will pretty much pay our company expenses for another 2 years. Sales are still going pretty strongly too, with a total of around 2,000 copies sold per day. This number is bound to drop over time, and it'll be interesting to see just how fast and where it stabilizes. While a lot of sales obviously come close to launch, a big part of our normal earnings comes from a slow daily trickle over the years of our existing titles. So our average daily sales a month or so from now on is actually more important than all of the units sold up to this point.

How does this compare to our other releases? Well, Amnesia: The Dark Descent sold 30,000 copies in the first month (and around 20,000 the first week). So SOMA's launch is obviously a lot better than that. Compared to Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, though, the launch is a little bit worse. That game sold about 120,000 copies the first week.

Our goal for SOMA's sales is 100,000 after a month, and at the current pace it should be able to reach pretty much exactly that with a few units to spare. However, this doesn't mean that we've come close to recouping all our costs. We need to sell almost 3 times that amount to do that. But given that it took us 5 years to make the project, there's no immediate stress to do so. One of the great things about funding SOMA 100% ourselves is that all money earned goes into our own pockets and is directly used to fund our upcoming projects. So we are under no pressure to recoup immediately so long as we get enough to keep going - which we certainly have now.

Finally, another very interesting aspect is how new titles tend to cannibalize on the previous ones. We saw this with A Machine for Pigs; after it launched the daily sales of The Dark Descent were almost cut in half. That was not that unexpected though, given that they are both from the same franchise, but still a bit weird that the games' combined sales ended up being pretty much what The Dark Descent sold on its own before. What we didn't expect was for SOMA to do the same. When the pre-orders for SOMA started, Amnesia sales dropped by about 30% or so and this drop still remains. This feels strange as the two games are not connected apart from being made by the same company, so we wonder what mechanism it is that causes this. It might be that Amnesia's sales will rise again a bit later on though, so it's too soon to tell yet just what the effects are.

- Reception
The critical reception of SOMA has been, overall, really, really great. MetaCritic is currently at 85 and the Steam reviews are 94% positive.

The thing that I worried most about personally was how the themes would be received. It turns out that I needn't have worried - that's the thing we have fewest problems with. Even reviews that gave us so-so scores lauded the game for the thought-provoking narrative. This feels awesome, as this has been the core focus during our five years of development.

The most common issue people have had is that they've felt the game wasn't scary enough. This is quite interesting, so I'd like to take a little time to discuss this.

One reason this was so is probably due to expectations. While we've tried to be very clear that SOMA will be a different game from Amnesia: The Dark Descent, we have still used the name "Amnesia" as a way to grab attention. This sends a bit of a mixed message, as people might simply assume that because we say "from the creators of Amnesia", a similar experience will be provided. One idea would have been not to mention the studio's heritage, but that feels stupid from a PR perspective. Another idea would have been to tone it down a bit, but it's hard to say exactly how to do that. The fact of the matter is that SOMA, just like Amnesia, is very much a horror game. It's just that it is presented in a different manner, using slower build-up and more focus on the psychological aspects.

Another reason why some people felt it was not scary enough is because horror is extremely subjective. The reactions to how scary SOMA is range from "not at all" to "the scariest game I have played", and some of the people in the latter camp are survival horror veterans. We had this sort of reaction to Amnesia: TDD as well, but it feels even more spread out for SOMA. When we released The Dark Descent, horror with no combat was still a very fresh concept, but five years later that is no longer the case, and it has lost its impact for some people. SOMA also employs a riskier approach to monster AI that assumes the player will act in certain ways and reach a certain understanding about how the creatures work. If players don't do this the experience might suffer. Above all, the main horror in SOMA is supposed to come from the existential dread that's slowly unveiled as the game progresses. And in order for this to work properly, a lot of pieces need to align, and it will not work for everyone.

So in the light of that, it doesn't feel all that bad that we didn't get a more universal praise for the game's scariness. But it's taught us a valuable lesson: that one should be very careful in managing people's expectations. This is a lesson that we thought we knew after A Machine For Pigs (which didn't turn out to be the game many wanted it to be) but apparently we hadn't learned enough. Once your studio gets associated with a particular game, it'll play a huge role in what people expect from upcoming releases. That said, the vast majority of people that had expected another Amnesia ended up enjoying SOMA once they realized the game was different. So I don't feel it has been a complete failure by any means, but just one of those things that needs more work in the feature.

- Piracy
It is so interesting that this is no longer a subject brought up much any longer. So I thought I would quickly get into it. And the first thing to note is that SOMA is the first game we have launched without having a pirated version out before release!

Another thing I have noticed is that we get fewer tech support requests from people with pirated versions than we used to have. It's often pretty easy to spot these people as we issue new patches frequently, so there are lots of telltale signs in the log files. I'm not sure if this means piracy has decreased for SOMA, or if these people find tech support elsewhere, but I felt it worth mentioning.

As for us personally, we haven't even talked about piracy. The only time it matters to us is when sending out review copies. Amnesia had a pirated version leaked before release, so now we make sure that we at least send out a DRM-protected version of the game to reviewers. But other than that, I don't think we've discussed it for even a second. This is quite different from back in 2007 when I know me and Jens had hours of discussions on the subject.

- Marketing
I've already touched upon this above when discussing the game's reception. However, how to market SOMA in terms of horror was the easy part. The hard part was to explain what makes the game special. When we released Amnesia, showing off the physics and explaining that you couldn't fight back was more than a enough for the game to stand out. But now the market is filled with these types of games, and more is needed to get people excited.

The main unique feature of SOMA is its exploration of consciousness and what it means to be human. This is also what has been the most celebrated feature of the game after launch. But explaining this to press and gamers prior to release has been exceptionally difficult. This is not some gameplay gimmick that can be shown off during a short demo session, but something that requires hours of build-up. So when you talk about the game, you have to be fuzzy and talk about very high-level concepts. When doing interviews like this I often got the impression that I wasn't really taken seriously. The press don't expect any lofty design aspirations to come true and would rather hear about concrete and more easily-digested (and explained) features.

To make things even harder, SOMA is very hard to talk about without spoiling the experience. I could never give an example of exactly how we handle our thematics through gameplay without spoiling a big chunk of the game. This problem of spoilers also makes the game hard to demo and to give to YouTubers. If we just give people a part of the game where you are chased by monsters, that would misrepresent the game (making the expectation problem worse) and fail to explain what is so special about SOMA. And if we show off one of slower sections that are all about build-up, mood and thematics, we have to show off really long segments, which becomes too spoiler-filled and takes way too much time for a demo.

We solved the YouTuber issue by only sending it out to a few trusted people, and only allowing a maximum of 15 minutes to be shown. That way we got people to play a lengthy part of the game (around 3 hours) and then show a distilled, and fairly spoiler-free, video to their viewers. We could only do this pretty late in development though, and given how important streamers and YouTubers are for PR these days, it felt like we would have like to do more earlier.

Another issue is that we might have unveiled the game a bit too early. We first showed off SOMA back in October 2013 and the plan was to keep content coming out until release. This turned out way harder to keep up with than what we'd initially thought. Because we were so unwilling to spoil the game, we could provide very little in terms of playable material for the press. Because of this, we had issues getting proper coverage at the end, as most of the standard things like "first playable preview" had already been done over a year back. We'd also had a plan to release a monthly live-action video clip to keep interest up, but because of production problems it got delayed and this plan fell through. (We are however showing them now: http://youtu.be/L8I_J2VjsqQ)

So it feels like it might have been better to have unveiled the game a year or so later to be able to keep up interest all the way to release and to have a more massive promotion campaign that way. A big issue with that is that it would have been very bad for the team morale. It's quite hard to work on a project in the dark for several years, and there was a very evident boost in spirit once we had let the world know that SOMA was coming. Added to this is that we got a lot of good feedback from press and fan reactions, which helped us shaped not just our PR but the actual game too. This is makes it much more uncertain if a later unveiling really would have been a better move.

- Future
So what is next for Frictional Games? First of all, now just about all of the major post-release issues have been patched up, most of the team will take some rest. We'll then focus a bit on documenting how the game and engine works, in the hopes that modding will reach the glorious heights it did for Amnesia. After that we are on to new secret projects. But those secret projects are really secret, so we can't say a word.

Finally a gigantic thanks to all who have bought the game! We love hearing about your experiences so please tweet, comment on Facebook, or leave a comment here and say what you thought about the game!

Meget sær den salgstals sammenhæng de føler, der eksisterer mellem deres spil. Jeg ville have troet, at den var omvendt og ville også umiddelbart gætte på, at det er andre faktorer der spiller ind..
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
Bede-xBede-xSkrevet 07/01-16 21:01, rettet 07/01-16 21:04 
Monster møderne var det mindst interessante ved Soma og har man lyst til helt at undgå dem, er der nogen der har smidt en mod op på Steam værkstedet, der gør dem passive (Bemærk at der er små spoilers i mod beskrivelsen):

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=560988617
Spiller nu: Halo: The Master Chief ..., Dying Light, Earth Defense Force 2025
jaesjaesSkrevet 22/11 20:20 
Spillet får en officiel Save Mode, der således også vil virke i konsoludgaverne.
https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/310171/H...ficing_the_scary.php

Man kan ikke dø, men der vil stadig være monstre i spilverdenen, og de vil stadig udgøre en form for fare (der er ikke nævnt hvordan det foregår).

Udviklerne er selv kommet til den konklusion, at monstre der kan dræbe én på nogle måder ikke passer til spillet, så Save Mode handler ikke om forsøg på lav sværhedsgrad eller lignende, men blot at tilbyde en alternativ måde at spille Soma på.
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